Heroes and Villains Fan Fest returned to San Jose, California last weekend for the third time. I’ve attended its sister show, Walker Stalker, in the past but this was the first time I was able to attend HVFF so needless to say I was excited for the opportunity. For those not in the know, HVFF is an event “by fans, for fans” where stars from some of your favorite shows come out to meet and greet their fans. Fans can have items or photographs autographed, photos taken with their favorite star, or attend panels to hear the stars talk about whatever comes to mind. The guest list varies from city to city but this San Jose two day event featured stars from Arrow, Agents of Shield, Guardians of the Galaxy and Punisher just to name a few.
Unfortunately, I was only able to attend Saturday but from what I saw this event is in great hands. Checking into the McEnery Convention Center was very smooth. They had separate lines for General Admission, VIP and media. All the lines moved at a swift pace as well as the security bag check. Upon entering the floor each stars autograph line was clearly marked and had separate lines for the different ticket types. Staff members kept the lines in orders and answered any questions that were asked of them. They also kept us informed any delays or schedule changes.
If you can afford it, I would strongly suggest going with a VIP ticket. The VIP prices are not for the faint of heart- $1,400 for platinum, $700 for gold, and $220 for regular VIP, but this allows you MUCH faster access to the stars during autograph sessions, priority seating for all panels and early access to the show floor. I saw several instances where the general autograph line didn’t move one foot over the course of an hour because the VIPs kept the separate general line moving at a snail’s pace. I can’t confirm this for a fact, but I would be surprised if everyone in the Ming Na Wen (Melinda May from Agents of Shield) general line was able to meet and greet her due to her enormous line. Wouldn’t preselling a limited number of tickets solve this problem as long as they don’t oversell? If you get through the pre-sells then you can open it up to everyone else. Just my two cents.
I personally like to get Funko pop figures and prints signed by the stars so the highlight of the event for me was getting the chance to meet Jon Bernthal of Walking Dead and Punisher fame. He was so laid back and down to earth as he greeted and talked to the fans. I purchased an awesome Punisher print from my favorite artists, Jason Palmer, and had Bernthal sign it along with his Shane pop from The Walking Dead. I was also able to meet several other stars and obtain their autographs on various items as well (See attached pictures). They all were very friendly and seemed to genuinely want to be there. It really did feel like a “family” event like they advertise this event to be.
Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances I had to leave the event early before being able to attend any of the panels or seeing the entire floor lay out. I did hear the panels were lots of fun as they usually tend to be when John Barrowman is involved. Only being able to attend just the one day was disappointing, but the one day was a great experience. I am looking forward to attending Heroes and Villains Fan Fest again in the near future.
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